My good lady’s father has a saying: never leave a room empty-handed. There’s always something you could be putting back, tidying up, or passing to someone.

It makes sense. It feeds directly into our personal productivity; doing a little often, chipping away at something rather than allowing a huge wedge of a thankless job to weigh us down, becoming bigger by the day, hanging over our heads and making us stressed.

I must confess I’m not good at this. These little pregnant pauses are great moments for doing a few leg exercises to loosen a troublesome calf muscle, or filing a few bills away at a time. Too often I let procrastination of the distasteful become the thief of my time as I kid myself that it’s better if I do one big job.

It’s the same in the electronic world as well of course. Even though we feel we’ve never been busier, with our time seemingly accounted for from the moment we wake til the moment we sleep, there are still little tiny pockets of time that we could be using better. We could be getting rid of emails, deleting old texts or unwanted photos languishing in our phones.

In work and life, idleness is a disease. It’s not the same as relaxation. There’s always something we could be doing.